A hands-on approach to relieving neck pain is the most effective method. At MetaMed, we find a combination of massage, acupuncture, cupping and joint manipulations offer the best results. Chiropractic neck adjustments and neck cracking by a qualified chiro are quick and effective therapies for relieving pain.
Having your neck cracked is only one part of many therapies that are integrated into a Holistic Chiropractor‘s treatments. Chiropractors should never force the release of a joint. And often, it is not appropriate to have your neck cracked due to a variety of reasons.
Your joints, nerves, fascia, muscle and blood flow respond best to effective and complementary treatments such as soft tissue massage, fascial unwinding, cupping, and acupuncture.
Why does my neck crack?
Your neck, just like other spinal and peripheral joints can make an audible ‘pop’ sound when manipulated. Most people simply call it a crack. There are a few reasons why your joints crack.
- The make-up of the fluid within the joint. It contains gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. This gases can build up causing the pressure
sensationthat is often relieved when you have your neck or back cracked. When you pop or crack a joint, you stretch the joint capsule which causes gas to rapidly release. This is also the reason why you can’t crack a joint repeatedly. To release a joint again you need to wait for the gases to return to the fluid.
- The sound of the force applied to ligaments supporting the joints. This is a bit like getting a piece of paper and holding it either end, allow the middle of the page to sink in and rapidly pull in opposite directions. You’ll hear a loud sound but the paper stays intact.
What is most important is that whether you crack your own neck or have a professional crack your joints it must be safe and shouldn’t be painful.
Should you crack your own neck?
If you love professional back cracking with a therapist you might wonder if it’s just as good to crack yourself for neck pain relief. Here’s why we believe you should see a professional and not do it yourself.
A Chiropractor goes through 5 years of physical therapy training to learn the art of joint manipulation. The training involves fine-tuning their senses to be able to find restricted joints and apply gentle but effective force through the joint. Successful releases of joints result in an audible crack.
It’s just as satisfying for us as it is you to get a cracking sound. That tells us it has effectively increased the range of motion in your joint, settled your nerves and the muscles. Joints get restricted in different ranges of motion and it’s important that you release the joint in the correct direction to facilitate the better function of your whole body. If you need to crack your neck daily or a few times a day you might not be releasing the correct joint or you’re not getting it moving in the direction it needs to go.
If you find that you crack your neck or back on a daily basis you could benefit from a chiropractic neck adjustment. Again, self-therapy may not be targeting the joints that need releasing and in fact, you could be making your neck pain worse. We like to use the analogy of scratching an itch. It feels good when you do it but invariably the itch returns. If you keep scratching, you keep irritating your skin and you make the itch worse.
Does cracking cause arthritis?
Are you a knuckle or back cruncher that loves to make people cringe? Can you get arthritis from cracking your joints and back? If you can release your own joints easily you are likely hypermobile. Your joints are compensating for restrictions above and below. But you’re never really getting to the source of the problem. So it’s not so much that you will get arthritis (although it is important to have strong and stable joints) it’s more that you are not really fixing the core problem which will alleviate your pain.
Read more about Arthritic Neck Treatment Options.
At MetaMed Chiropractic we use joint manipulations to mobilise joints in a safe way.
Chiropractic neck adjustments
It’s important to have a trained professional adjust your neck. A good Chiropractor will screen you with a thorough history and examination to ensure you are safe to go through with neck manipulation and will only perform a neck adjustment in this manner if you feel safe and comfortable.
Neck Pain Relief & Pain management
Manipulating or cracking joints can be an effective part of pain management. It works best